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VHESUAC Recognition Program

November 21, 2023

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Four Virginia Universities and a Community College Recognized for Substance Use Prevention Efforts

The Virginia Higher Education Substance Use Advisory Committee (VHESUAC) has recognized five Virginia campuses for their commitment to furthering student substance use education, prevention, recovery and intervention efforts. 

James Madison University (JMU), Longwood University (LU), the University of Mary Washington (UMW), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Wytheville Community College (WCC) are the first to receive the recognition through a program launched this year by the advisory committee.

Created by Virginia’s General Assembly in 2018, VHESUAC is comprised of representatives from public and private universities and colleges, student leaders, state agencies and statewide partners in substance misuse prevention appointed by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) Board to collaborate to reduce college substance misuse and advocate for policies and practices that are science-based.

“The negative consequences of substance misuse impact Virginia’s college students, their families and friends, and the community-at-large daily, and alcohol continues to remain the most used drug on college campuses,” said Virginia ABC Adult Education and Prevention Coordinator Chris Young. “The toll of misuse on the intellectual and social lives of students is enormous. Without partnerships and support at the local and state levels, colleges and universities have a limited capacity to address the problem of substance misuse.”

The annual VHESUAC Campus Recognition Program is designed to publicly recognize college and university campuses across the commonwealth that are implementing the statewide initiatives to stem substance use on university and college campuses. These have included a variety of efforts ranging from recovery programs like “Rams in Recovery” at VCU to Good Samaritan and Medical Amnesty initiatives at UMW and JMU, which offer medical help to students who need it due to alcohol intoxication or use of drugs by removing impediments to seeking such assistance.

VHESUAC seeks to recognize as many campuses as possible and encourages all campuses across the commonwealth to learn more about its program


The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.7 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 399 state stores and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees approximately 19,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 89th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.

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